Sisyracera jacquelinae, Bernard Landry, 2016

Bernard Landry, 2016, Taxonomic revision of the Spilomelinae (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae s. l.) of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, Revue suisse de Zoologie 123 (2), pp. 315-399: 383-387

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.155309

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scientific name

Sisyracera jacquelinae

sp. n.

Sisyracera jacquelinae  sp. n.

Figs 61, 62View Figs 57 - 64, 89View Figs 81 - 91, 129View Figs 128 - 130, 175View Figs 173 - 177

Material examined

Holotype: ♀, ‘ ECU.[ADOR], GALAPAGOS | Isabela, V[olcan]. Darwin | 1000 m elev[ation]., 18.v.1992 | M [ercury]V[apour]L[ight], leg. [it] B. Landry’; ‘ MHNG | ENTO ♀ | 00009035 ’; ‘HOLOTYPE | Sisyracera  | jacquelinae  | B. Landry’. Deposited in MHNG. 

Paratypes: 5 ♂, 34 ♀ from the Galápagos Islands. – Fernandina: 3 ♀, SW side, GPS: 815 m elev[ation]., S 00° 21.270’, W 91° 35.341’, 11.ii.2005, u[ltra]v[iolet] l[ight] (B. Landry, P. Schmitz). – Isabela: 1 ♀, Tagus Cove, alt[titude]. ± 10 m, 22-23.iii.1970, at 15 w[atts]. u. v. blacklight (R. Silberglied)  ; 5 ♀, V[olcan]. Darwin, 630 m elev., 16.v.1992, M[ercury]V[apour]L[ight] (B. Landry); 3 ♀ (one dissected, slide MHNG-ENTO-8689), same data as holotype; 7 ♀, idem except 1240 m, 19.v.1992; 1 ♀ (slide MHNG-ENTO-8686), ± 15 km N P[uer] to Villamil, 25.v.1992, MVL (B. Landry); 2 ♂ (one dissected, B.M. Pyralidae  Genitalia slide 21189), 1 ♀, Sierra Negra, Corazon Verde, xi-xii.1974 (T.J. de Vries, B.M. 1976-58). – Pinta: N 00° 34.476’, W 90° 45.102’, 372 m elev., 16.iii.2006, uvl (P. Schmitz, L. Roque); 2 ♀ (one dissected, slide MHNG-ENTO-8688), 400 m elev., 17.iii.1992, MVL (B. Landry); 1 ♂, 1 ♀, N 00° 34.591’, W 90° 45.137’, 421 m elev., 17.iii.2006, uvl (P. Schmitz, L. Roque); 3 ♀, 400 m elev., 18.iii.1992, MVL (B. Landry); 1 ♂ (slide MHNG-ENTO-9021), 400-650 m elev., 18.iii.1992, day (B. Landry); 1 ♂ (B.M. Pyralidae  Genitalia slide 21188), [no precise locality] (staff of Charles Darwin Research Station) (R. Perry & Tj. De Vries, B.M. 1971-79). – Santa Cruz: 1 ♀, Los Gemelos, 4.v.2002, uvl (B. Landry, L. Roque). – Santiago: 4 ♀ (one dissected, slide MHNG-ENTO-9022), Central [camp], 700 m elev., 10.iv.1992, MVL (B. Landry); 1 ♀, Aguacate [camp], 520 m elev., 12.iv.1992, MVL (B. Landry). Deposited in BMNH, CDRS, CNC, MCZ, and MHNG.

Diagnosis: This new species differs conspicuously from either Sisyracera subulalis ( Guenée, 1854)  or S. inabsconsalis (Möschler)  ( Figs 59, 60View Figs 57 - 64) in that the fore- and especially the hindwing patterns are much less strongly contrasting, especially in the males ( Fig. 62View Figs 57 - 64). In S. subulalis  the forewing has a wide brown band from about 4/5 on costa to the tornus, segregating a small paler triangle at apex, and the hindwing has a large concolourous brown apical patch.

Etymology: I take pleasure in naming this species after Jacqueline Studer, dearest of friends.

Description: Male (n=5) ( Fig. 62View Figs 57 - 64). Head: frons slightly convex with short appressed scales mottled white, chestnut brown, and greyish brown, with white band dorsally, below antennae, and sometimes dark greyish brown spots laterally near middle, eyes very large, occupying about 73% of head width measured dorsally between antennae, with latter almost abutting each other at base, thin scales behind eye white, greyish brown toward occiput, longest scales laterally on occiput projecting dorsally and white to greyish brown, occiput medially and between antennae with mixture of short and long white to dark brown scales; antenna with basal section (first 22 flagellomeres) serrate, about 1/3 wider than long, with ciliation very short, less than 1/5 width of flagellomeres, vestiture with basal scales white and median scales dark greyish brown to pale greyish brown toward flagellum apex, with flagellomeres 22 and next 2 or 3 modified, bent, forming small cavity set with dense bunch of short, thin and pointed pale tan scales protected dorsally by hood-shaped structure of medium-length greyish brown scales, with regularsized greyish brown scales also ventrally, flagellomeres beyond modified section filiform, about 1.5X longer than wide just beyond bend, with ciliation only slightly longer than on basal flagellomeres, with appressed short scales dorsally and set of erect short scales ventrally; maxillary palpus minute, smaller than pilifer, white scaled; labial palpus porrect with reclining third palpomere, short, reaching beyond frons for about 3/4 width of eye, vestiture with long, ventrally projecting scales on segment I, with scales only slightly projecting apicoventrally on segment II, without projecting scales on segment III, white at bases of segments I and II and apex of segment III, greyish brown elsewhere, occasionally with yellowish brown; haustellum with scales white and greyish brown. Thorax dorsally with dark and pale greyish brown, white, and chestnut brown scales, mostly with paler bases, with elongate, basally white and apically blackish brown scales arising laterally from mesothorax and converging medially at base of metascutum. Foreleg coxa greyish brown with pale cream at base and apex; femur blackish brown, with paler scales subbasally and subapically; tibia dark greyish brown with white and pale cream basally and medially, and white apically, with longer scales covering epiphysis light greyish brown; tarsomeres pale cream with progressively paler short greyish brown patch apically on first to fourth. Midleg femur cream with small patches of dark greyish brown basally and apically, and larger one postmedially; tibia pale cream and white, with three dark greyish brown patches on basal half and another apically, spurs white ventrally, pale cream dorsally with some light greyish brown; tarsomeres pale cream to white toward last, with light greyish brown apically and before on first, and only apically and decreasing in intensity from second to fourth. Hindleg femur white to pale cream, with dark greyish brown patches basally, postmedially (the darkest) and apically; tibia white to dirty cream with dark greyish brown patches at bases of spurs, with some lighter greyish brown postbasally, spurs pale to dirty cream with pale greyish brown dorsally; tarsomeres pale to dirty cream with darker, pale greyish brown at bases of first and second. Forewing length: 6.5-7.0 mm (wingspan: 14.0- 15.5 mm). Vestiture dark brown with paler markings as shown to darker, blackish brown with reduced markings on costa as pair of small white and yellowish orange spots postbasally at 1/5, median white and yellowish orange ring-like patch extending into cell and surrounding dark brown spot, and possibly small greyish brown spot at 3/4 (unique darker specimen rubbed), also with subterminal white band in medial sector. Abdomen (n=1 undissected specimen available) dorsally pale greyish brown with darker brown medially on tergites II-VI and white along terminal margin of all tergites; laterally with apical blackish brown spots; ventrally white to dirty pale cream with few pale greyish brown scales on basal sternites. Segment VIII with sclerotization pattern as shown ( Fig. 89View Figs 81 - 91).

Male genitalia (n=3) ( Fig. 129View Figs 128 - 130). Uncus lightly sclerotized, of medium size, fused with tegumen, with long setae about as long as uncus along lateral margins, but mostly at apex dorsally and on apical margin, with one seta dorsomedially near base, narrower apical section dorsoventrally flattened and slightly bent. Subscaphium lightly sclerotized, about as wide as apical section of uncus and reaching its tip. Tegumen short, forming complete cover, lightly sclerotized, simple (without sclerotized support bands), bare at base medially, basal margin slightly rounded. Without apparent gnathos or pseudognathos. Transtilla arms triangular, narrow, not connected medially. Valva simple, without fibula or other modifications medially, slightly curving upward, apex about half width of base, apically rounded. Juxta small, well sclerotized, ovoid with lateral margins slightly concave, with rounded ventral keel about as long as half width of juxta. Vinculum thickly sclerotized, narrow; saccus a narrow expansion directed anterodorsally. Phallus mostly straight, with distinct coecum penis about 1/10 length of whole shaft and directed upward slightly, dorsally membranous until 3/5 of length; vesica without cornuti but with a few scobinations and a large number of minute spinules.

Female (n=35) ( Fig. 61View Figs 57 - 64). Antenna filiform, unmodified, with ciliation about as long as 1/5 of width of flagellomeres. Forewing length: 6.5-8.0 mm (holotype: 7.5 mm) (wingspan: 14.0- 17.5 mm). Wing vestiture as shown, sometimes with chestnut brown background replaced by blackish brown. Abdomen dorsally brown with darker brown medially on tergites II-VII and white along terminal margin of I-VI, with terminal scales cream; laterally with small black spot apically on segments II-VI visible from above and short black line on II-V visible from below; ventrally pale greyish brown with white apically along margin of sternites II-VI, with cream terminal scales.

Female genitalia (n=4) ( Fig. 175View Figs 173 - 177). Papillae anales rounded, about 2.7X wider than long; sclerotized basal margin thin and straight, ventrally extending twice as much as dorsally; posterior apophyses strong, slightly longer than width of papillae anales, with short extension ventrally at 1/4. Segment VIII short, with tergal sclerotized surface dorsally twice as long as at base of apophyses, only shortly extending ventrally from base of apophyses, with long setae along apical margin; medioventrally with elongate, lightly sclerotized narrow plate ending anteriorly in low concavity and narrowing; anterior apophyses strong, about 25% longer than posterior apophyses, with dorsal, triangular extension at 1/4. Membrane around ostium bursae unmodified. Ductus bursae with first section before ductus seminalis about 1/3 total length of ductus bursae although separation from corpus bursae unclear, colliculum well-sclerotized, funnel shaped in posterior half, parallel-margined in anterior half, rest of ductus bursae more or less spiculate posteriorly, with inception of ductus seminalis just after colliculum. Corpus bursae elongate, slightly longer than ductus bursae, about 4X as wide as ductus bursae, without modifications of membrane.

Biology: Unknown except for the moth’s attraction to light, perhaps more so in the females, if the difference observed in the sexes of the specimens collected is significant in that respect. Also, apart from one specimen collected near Tagus Cove on Isabela, all others were found at higher elevations, at 815 m on Fernandina, at 360 m (Corazon Verde) and up to 1240 m on Isabela, at 372 m and above on Pinta, at about 720 m (Los Gemelos) on Santa Cruz, and at 520 and 700 m on Santiago. Collecting months are March until May and November and December.

Distribution: Endemic to the Galápagos, specimens have been found on five of the larger islands as mentioned above.

Remarks: James Hayden (pers. comm.) suggested the placement of this species in Sisyracera  as follows: ‘The genitalia have the characters that I associate with it: no gnathos, tapered uncus without robust chaetae, attenuate, broad-based valvae without fibula or other processes, female without signum or other sclerotizations. The palpi are kind of pyraustiform with a short, porrect apical meron. It also has the same antennal tuft! The tympanal pockets are a little more shallow than my dissections. The wing pattern is more like Udea  , etc. than the spider-webby pattern of typical Sisyracera  , but I think it is plesiomorphic in your species.’ In the forewing pattern also, some of the female specimens (26 out of 35, but not specimen illustrated on Fig. 61View Figs 57 - 64) harbour a median, white spot circled brown and usually with a brown spot in the middle, in the same position as that of S. inabsconsalis  .


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Edith Cowan University


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Invertebrate Collection


Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes


Museum of Comparative Zoology